Candace Christiansen The Ice Horse

ISBN 13: 9780803714007

The Ice Horse

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9780803714007: The Ice Horse
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While harvesting ice on the Hudson River with his uncle one winter, a boy uses quick thinking to save his uncle's horse

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From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 5-In a first-person narrative, 12-year-old Jack chronicles his first winter helping harvest ice from the Hudson River. The boy is proud to be allowed to drive his uncle's horse, but as they harness the animal, the man gives him a presentient warning: "'If Max ever falls through the ice, hang on to this rope and pull hard. It will choke him, but it may save his life.'" This is advice Jack remembers when the animal does plunge into the cold water one day. Christiansen's unadorned text contains many intriguing details and a protagonist who experiences the pride of responsibility and recovers quickly from failure. Locker's painterly, representational oils competently illuminate the text. While his closeups of people are somewhat wooden, their expressions unrelentingly somber, his depictions of the harvesting process, done in an icy-cold palette, are excellent. Page layouts emphasize the sweep and linearity of the river landscape. Younger readers may need more explanation emphasizing the lack of refrigeration, but all children who love a story in which a youngster acts heroically will find the action engrossing. A fascinating piece of Americana engagingly recollected.
Kate McClelland, Perrot Memorial Library, Greenwich, CT
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Publishers Weekly:

The team that collaborated on Calico and Tin Horns again rummages fruitfully in America's attic. The treasure found this time is the long-defunct business of the winter ice harvest. The unadorned text, narrated from the point of view of Jack, 12, tells of the winter his uncle teaches him the family business of cutting and storing ice from the Hudson, to be sold in the summer in New York City. Readers gain a nearly tactile appreciation of this vanished industry, thanks to the solid details ("The horses were fitted with spiked horseshoes so they wouldn't slip on the ice") included in the text. The dramatic center of the story, however, is Jack's rescue of his uncle's horse when the animal tumbles into the icy river. The simple and unvarying page design focuses attention on the lush paintings of the artist's beloved Hudson Valley. Though the glowing violet sky of the rescue scenes may strike some readers as unnatural, for the most part Locker conjures up an appropriately wintery atmosphere. An exciting, economically told story, and an enjoyable glimpse into the past. Ages 6-10.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780803714014: The Ice Horse

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ISBN 10:  0803714017 ISBN 13:  9780803714014
Publisher: Dial, 1993
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